AAPT_WM14program_final - page 63

January 4–7, 2014
Monday morning
do influence student attendance of office hours, but also those factors
that do not, in some cases confirming and in other cases negating
commonly held assumptions. Survey results for physical science
courses are compared to campus wide results. We conclude that in the
current culture surrounding office hours individual instructors have
limited agency in influencing student attendance and discuss best
practices in light of the survey results.
11:10-11:20 a.m. Studio Physics for Life-Science
Majors at Boston University
Contributed – Andrew G. Duffy, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215;
Bennett B. Goldberg, Boston University
After two years of a pilot project, we are now in the first year of a
large-scale studio physics implementation in the algebra-based intro-
ductory physics class for life-science majors at Boston University. In
fall 2013, three of the five sections of the course were taught in a new
81-student studio classroom, using the traditional studio elements of
round tables and active-learning with pre-class quizzes, worksheets,
interactive clicker questions, directed peer learning, and experiential
activities. With 241 students in the studio, and 200 students learning
in the more traditional lecture/lab/recitation style, we are able to do
a good comparison of the two learning modes. All students did the
same pre- and post-tests (FMCE and CLASS), homework, quizzes,
and the same midterm tests and final exam. We will report on the
outcomes of our study.
11:20-11:30 a.m. Textbook Presentations of Weight:
Conceptual and Associated Terminological
Contributed – Rex N. Taibu, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo,
MI 49009;
David W. Rudge, David Schuster, Western Michigan University
The concept of weight is ambiguously defined (e.g., as the Earth’s
gravitational force on an object or as the force an object exerts on
a measuring scale). But while the underlying physical constructs
behind these different definitions for weight are well understood, it is
unclear how the concept should be introduced to students. Our goal
was to document language issues associated with the term “weight”
in introductory physics textbooks, and to assess how textbooks deal
with the alternative ways the term is used. Relevant passages from
a sample of 20 textbooks were subjected to content analysis by two
researchers with strong backgrounds in both physics and teaching.
Results indicate that language issues were prevalent within and across
the textbooks. The relation between the two physical constructs was
rarely clearly presented, particularly in non-inertial reference frames
such as spaceships or elevators. The study concludes by considering
the implications for teaching.
Session CG: PER: Topical
Understanding and Attitudes
Location: Salon 4
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Monday, January 6
Time: 11–11:50 a.m.
Presider: Brian Piper
11-11:10 a.m. Classroom Experiences Associated
to Students’ Disaffection with Physics
Contributed – Geoff Potvin, Florida International University, Clemson
University, Clemson, SC 29634;
Zahra Hazari, Florida International University, Clemson University
Allison Godwin, Clemson University
Often, research into physics education is focused on seeking out prac-
tices that improve student outcomes—such as improved conceptual
gains, motivation, etc.—in comparison to the status quo of tradi-
tional/unreformed practices. Recently, we have instead validated a
construct of student “disaffection” to identify practices that are signifi-
cantly associated to this undesirable, negative student attitude. Using
regression analysis on nationally representative college student data,
we identify high school physics experiences that are associated to stu-
dent disaffection including, importantly, having a teacher who relies
more regularly on lecturing. There are gender interactions as well,
such that women’s disaffection is strongly related to their evaluations
of their high school physics teachers (lower evaluations are associated
to higher disaffection), whereas men show no such relationship.
11:10-11:20 a.m. Physics Identity Recognition:
Coherence Between Teachers’ and Students’
Contributed – Zahra Hazari, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Cheryl AP Cass, North Carolina State University
Carrie Beattie
Robynne M. Lock, Clemson University
Prior research has emphasized the importance of recognition to phys-
ics identity development. In this study, we examine the coherence be-
tween students’ perceptions of their physics teacher recognizing them
and the beliefs of physics teachers with regards to students. We draw
on data from four case studies of physics teachers and their classes.
Our quantitative analysis revealed that one of the teachers, Dr. D,
had a different coherence pattern. His students also perceived greater
recognition and identified more as being a “physics person” than
the students of the other teachers. Focusing in on a student with the
lowest coherence, Kristina, we examine the ways in which Dr. D’s ac-
tions served to help her feel recognized -- actions that superseded his
beliefs about her. Our results indicate that despite his beliefs (about
her and his other students on average), his actions facilitated students
seeing themselves in positive ways with respect to physics.
*This work was supported by NSF grant 0952460.
11:20-11:30 a.m. Understanding the Relationship
Between Physics Identity and Interdisciplinarity
Contributed – Tyler D. Scott, Clemson University, Department of Engi-
neering and Science Education, Clemson, SC 29634; tdscott@clemson.
Zahra Hazari, Geoff Potvin, Clemson University
Much recent work in physics education research has focused on
identity. Since physics identity is related to physics career choice and
persistence, it is valuable to understand what helps students develop
a physics identity and what other attitudes are related to physics
identity. Recent work suggests characteristics of interdisciplinary
thinking are related to having a higher physics identity. However, the
nature of this connection is still unexplained. This qualitative study
examines students’ interdisciplinary actions and beliefs, particularly
with respect to their physics classes, as well as their physics identity.
Through analysis of interviews and classroom observations, we seek
to explain how these actions and beliefs may be related to students’
physics identity, i.e. the possible mechanisms by which one may influ-
ence the other and how such mechanisms are activated.
11:30-11:40 a.m. Investigating Physics and Engi-
neering Students’ Understanding of op-amp Circuits*
Contributed – MacKenzie R. Stetzer, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Kevin L. Van De Bogart, Christos P. Papanikolaou, University of Athens
As part of a new effort at the University of Maine to investigate the
learning and teaching of concepts in thermodynamics and electron-
ics that are integral to both undergraduate physics and engineering
programs, we have been examining student learning in electrical
engineering and physics courses on electric circuits and electron-
ics. A major goal of this work at the physics-engineering interface
is to probe the extent to which the nature of student understanding
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